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Control access to videos

Discussion in 'Programming' started by stephan2307, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. #1
    I am working on an elearning platform. The elearning courses can be in different formats

    ie just text, text with videos, just videos etc, etc

    I am currently looking for a platform to host the videos on. However it is important that we can protect them from being watched/downloaded by people that haven't bought a given course.

    So is there video hosting service that has an api that allows the creation of tokens for each user or each time the user watches the video?

    Any other thoughts/ideas about securely hosting and protecting videos ?
    SEMrush
    Thanks
     
    stephan2307, Feb 1, 2020 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #2
    I use Vimeo Pro for that.
    You hide the videos in the Vimeo dashboard and then restrict the embed of the video to specific domains and restrict downloads.
     
    Agent000, Feb 1, 2020 IP
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  3. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #3
    I think youtube also allows limited access to videos, by assigning the video to specified members only, if this type of restriction is your only requirement...

    Better way is to host it yourself, and check access using PHP.
    Don't show direct links in embed code, cause then someone can simply download video file by looking at source code.
    Pass the video file through a php code.


    However, there is no full proof way of doing this online. Someone smart can always find a way to download your videos.
    Look how many websites are able to download videos from youtube itself, even though youtube tried hard to restrict downloads...
     
    JEET, Feb 1, 2020 IP
  4. stephan2307

    stephan2307 Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Thanks, I was already looking into Vimeo that does look good.

    I want to avoid that as the video traffic would then come from my hosting allowance. Depending on how many elearning courses are purchased, this could get expensive.
     
    stephan2307, Feb 2, 2020 IP
  5. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #5
    Why not use one of those unlimited hosting packages? I have one, its got unmetered bandwidth, and allows 200k nodes (files) as told to me by support.
    This pack is with hostgator.
    I am sure that you will not be uploading 200k videos, and even bandwidth etc will not be an issue.
     
    JEET, Feb 2, 2020 IP
  6. stephan2307

    stephan2307 Well-Known Member

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    #6
    yes that could work. I will think about that.

    thanks.
     
    stephan2307, Feb 3, 2020 IP
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  7. Harry H

    Harry H Greenhorn

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    #7
    There's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. Push enough traffic through the site and you'll find there is a very small clause that says "fair use" which means we can close your account if we don't like it. Always pay for the bandwidth you need, it's cheaper in the long run and you get less nasty surprises. Bandwidth is generally pretty cheap anyway, but... videos really will add up if you don't charge a sensible rate to cover it.
     
    Harry H, Feb 3, 2020 IP
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  8. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #8
    @Harry
    I understand that. This is why I specifically asked them to confirm them bandwidth usage policy before purchasing.
    They confirmed that bandwidth is unmetered, but even though disk space is saying unlimited, still its limited to 200k files.

    Even the email I got from them is saying so:

    Plan: Business | Unlimited Add-on Domains | Unmetered Bandwidth
    Hosted In: USA
    OS: Linux
    Dedicated IP: Yes
     
    JEET, Feb 3, 2020 IP
  9. stephan2307

    stephan2307 Well-Known Member

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    #9
    As I understand sites like Vimeo serve the best video for the viewing condition ie connection speed, mobile/laptop/screen size etc etc. How would you get around that with self hosted videos. Will you need to encode it / resize it yourself or are there video players that can handle this?
     
    stephan2307, Feb 4, 2020 IP
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  10. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #10
    Hi Stephan,
    I think adjusting resolution etc is something of past now. There were times when mobile phones could only play 3gp and only small screen resolution videos, but now I think all platforms like mobile and laptops can play all major types like MP4,flv,webm etc.
    You can simply store mp4 format, in 720 resolution may be (smaller or larger), and it will be fine on all platforms.
    Its been so long since I even came across any 3gp or below 480 resolution video. Neither on phone, nor on laptop.
     
    JEET, Feb 4, 2020 IP
  11. stephan2307

    stephan2307 Well-Known Member

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    #11
    what sort of videoplayer script are you guys using?
     
    stephan2307, Feb 10, 2020 IP
  12. HarryPAO

    HarryPAO Peon

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    #12
    Hosting videos yourself can be quite a hustle as already mentioned. Make sure that your hosting has enough bandwidth and storage for videos.

    Be wary, even through PHP if you will eventually have to share the video url to the browser so it can play. In the end of the user journey authentication will be broken. This cannot be solved unless you go with very expensive DRM solutions (such is Widevide) which I suspect are not needed on your side.

    Finally, bandwidth adaptive playback is implemented through DASH or HLS streams instead of plain mp4 files: An mp4 file is cut into many smaller files (5-10 seconds long) and served serially to the client. Each file is also re-encoded in smaller resolution. So the client can choose the appropriate chunk file based on the bandwidth. Please note that iOS and OSX devices support natively only HLS streams, Android devices and Chrome are better at supporting DASH files so you may have to encode the content to both DASH and HLS streams.

    Do the above sound complex? Yes they are. Video streaming is a quite complex process. I would go with vimeo, and if that didn't cover me I would go with a self hosted / created solution, but that would not be cheap.
     
    HarryPAO, Feb 24, 2020 IP